First drive: Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet


Porsche 911 C4S

Out of all of the 911 derivatives, the four-wheel-drive Carrera 4S Cabriolet is one of the most loved. Its easy-to-live-with persona and glam clothes make it a popular choice in the UK. But is it all show and no go? AOL Cars took to the wheel to find out.

What is it?

It's the convertible version of the very popular 911 Carrera 4S – so it gets the coupe's swollen bodywork, four-wheel-drive all-weather usability and the traditional light strip at the back. Packed with advanced technology such as torque vectoring and active suspension management, this is a proper sports car and not a poser's mobile.

What's under the bonnet?

Porsche's very familiar 3.8-litre flat-six that pumps out 400bhp. It'll gargle its way to 182mph, and when fitted with the seven-speed PDK transmission it'll hit 60mph in 4.1 seconds – best enjoyed with the optional £1,700 sports exhaust. Fuel consumption is a respectable 31mpg – but turn on Sport mode, flip the paddles and drive the car like it wants you too and that figure drops quite considerably.

What's the spec like?

Unsurprisingly, everything is an option. Our test car's basic list price was £96,964 but once equipment such as metallic paint, upgraded red leather, Sport Chrono Plus, a sports exhaust, Bluetooth, front parking sensors and a crystal-clear Bose sound system were added, the asking price rose to an eye-watering £111,000!

Any rivals?

For its four-wheel-drive system, Audi's R8 Spyder is an obvious rival, but its mid-engine layout marks out the Audi as more supercar than grand tourer. Jaguar's (cheaper) F-Type and Mercedes' SL63 AMG are the car's closest rivals if you're in the market for a convertible GT.

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet

What's it like to drive?

It's incredibly easy to drive in all environments – it really is an everyday supercar. With that four-wheel-drive system and direct steering, the C4S Cab is a tremendously confidence-inspiring drive. Even though our car had the optional 20-inch alloys, the ride quality is good, with well-judged damping. And, when you factor in decent (for a car of this type) luggage space, it's roomy too – making it an ideal car to lope across continents in.

What do we think?

It's a sensational piece of kit – an engineering masterpiece. Our test car may have been a little bling, but the 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet is a glamorous and tasteful car to use everyday – and that's its key strength; how easy it is to use. It's a very hard car to find criticisms with but if we were to nit-pick, we'd save around £5k by opting for the cheaper two-wheel-drive Carrera S Cabriolet.

The knowledge

Model: Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet
Price: £110,867 (as tested)
Engine: 3.8-litre, six-cylinder, petrol
Power: 400bhp, 440Nm
Max speed: 182mph
0-60mph: 4.1s
MPG: 30.7mpg
Emissions: 217g/km CO2